The cult of busy

When we’re lost in the story of what we think “busy” means we find ourselves in judgement of others or being judged. Frustration, upset, anger, suffering. When we see through it, we’re free to act from love.

Photo by José Martín Ramírez C on Unsplash

I laughed yesterday at the synchronicity of life. I’d just finished recording another podcast episode* with Gary Bridgeman & Natalie Nuttall and went on a call with Andrew Smith.

Andrew told me he’d been working with a group in business recently about ‘the cult of busy’ and how they’d told him being busy was like a ‘badge of honour’. I burst out laughing! These words were literally the title of the just-recorded podcast. Word. For. Word! read more

The rules, they’re killing us

How the intellect is taking us away from clarity, brilliance and the perfect next step.

Image of traffic in Kathmandu
Image credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Gy3kRVUvx0

My mum recently got back from a holiday in Nepal. She was telling me about the experience of crossing the road in Kathmandu. Two things struck her.

The first was that the drivers decide the lane system. With no markings on the road, no lane information signs, no overhead illumination in greens and reds about which lines are open and closed. The drivers just drive in a way that makes sense based on the volume of traffic. Six lanes heading into the city in the morning, just one heading out. The opposite in the evening. It just makes sense. And they don’t need a formal system to tell them to do this. It just works. They’re connected. They’re not in their heads. read more

Leadership for the whole of me and the whole of you

I just listened to this podcast and my reflections were beyond the wordcount of any social media post! I’d love to hear what you think too.

The conversation is an interview with Mike Vacanti on Teresa Quinlan and Rhys Thomas’s podcast TNT ESQ and there were three big themes that jumped out for me.

  1. Whole-listic leadership
  2. Bringing people with you
  3. Healthy attachment

Read on…

  1. I love the concept of ‘whole-istic’ leadership. Confirming Daniel Goleman’s findings all those years ago that the most successful leaders were those who deployed all the categories of leadership that he defined.

What I really see in this is how you can’t ‘do’ flexibility with leadership styles effectively from the intellect. You can’t come to each situation, pause, refer to the boxes and pick which to use for this person in this situation. read more

When you think you’re right, you never are

How taking a position on something, standing in our right-ness, immediately takes us out of connection with what’s going on. The truth of limitless possibilities falsely narrowed down to one — this one. Have a read and see what you see…

Yesterday my kid’s school year were told they’re the worst year this teacher has ever had.

Every individual in the room was painted the same colour with the teacher’s brush. One homogenous lump. Solid like ice.

But fixed homogeneity can never be true. My child feels that. It shows up as anger, upset, dissonance, confusion. A knowing within that ‘bad’ is not who he innately is — none of us are — and yet this person in authority who’s apparently meant to know more or better is saying it. The solid ice of the teacher’s words tumbling about in the water of reality, out of place.  read more

Psychological safety : the individual’s perspective

Last week I wrote about Psychological Safety from the perspective of a leader trying to create that environment for their team or business. But what about the individual? Do they have to just wait for someone else to come and create that for them? You can probably guess that’s a no — but read on to explore more…


Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash

I can’t work with that person they’re so intimidating.

This team just seems incapable of a decision and drive me crazy going round in circles.

I’m too introverted to get my point across, the extroverts just take over.

Nobody ever listens to each other. It’s pointless.

All possible scenarios where we can drop into the role of victim, believing that we need a rescuer to come and change things for us. The leader in his coat of shining armour who will take responsibility for the dynamic and make it all better. read more

Psychological safety : we have a choice

Psychological safety was researched for many years before it hit the headlines with Google’s Project Aristotle. In asking “what makes an effective team?” the key enabling factor was psychological safety. But we have a choice — we can create psychologically safe environments with or without effort. What do you choose?


HT for the image : https://coetichr.com/psychological-safety-people-science/

Definition : Psychological safety is “a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.”

I’m sure you’ll have been in a conversation or a meeting at some point in your life where you wondered whether to speak up, whether to ask the question, whether to offer the idea you had, whether to say I don’t know, or whether to say it didn’t work. read more

Diversity & Inclusion : how we’re making it worse

What’s it like to consider that our efforts to make ‘different’ people feel included are taking us away from what we’re trying to achieve?


Image Credit: Perry Grone : Unsplash

It’s time to pause. Just notice for a second, and see if what I suggest here has an inkling of truth to it.

We are creating more exclusion in our efforts to include.

What I see in my sphere of the world is people calling out causes that need to be fought for.

I see people defiant and definitive about the change that needs to happen to include those excluded. read more

Getting out of your own way

“I just need to get out of my own way” such a common phrase when someone’s stuck in something they think they don’t like or want. And yet this act of getting out of our own way can seem so hard.

We can see where we want to get to and we know the blocks that are in our way : I procrastinate on the decision, I over-think the process, I’m afraid I might get it wrong, I worry what others will think, I can’t break these habits that keep me here.

Have you ever been in one of these situations and put a strategy in place to overcome whatever seems to be in your way? A new habit, a positive mantra, a vision board, joining a group with similar folk, creating goals and action plans? read more

A fresh perspective: how we’ve got stuck working in our minds

‘Working in the business or on the business?’ A common phrase to shift attention out of the day-to-day. Up and out into strategy and external insight. But have you ever considered this in the context of your mind?

This week I was one of a group of parents at a meeting with the Head of my kid’s school about changes and improvements they’re making.

At one point there was the suggestion that they ask parents for help more; a wealth of knowledge and experience on their doorstep and from very differing backgrounds and industries. read more

Goals : the biggest limit on business

It really looks like we need goals. It looks like we need to get to that outcome, and that creating a plan and sticking to it is essential to get there. Or maybe not…

It sounds so impressive doesn’t it. What are the big goals you’re working towards? What stretch goals do we need to take this to the next level? What’s your goal in life?

Sounds so strong and definite and clear and powerful like that’s what we all need, to be grown up and sorted in life.

Goals are not ‘wrong’ but our relationship with them is worth an exploration. read more